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Offline T-Block

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Modes
« on: March 31, 2007, 09:21:28 AM »
MODES

A mode is simply a scale that starts and ends on each degree of the major scale. It uses only the notes of the major scale, but it just starts and ends on each note.  There are 7 modes altogether. Each mode name signifies what degree of the major scale it starts on.  First, let's review the major scale:

Major scale formula =   __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ WS __ HS __
(WS means whole step, HS means half step)

C major scale =  C   D   E   F   G   A   B   C

Key of C scale degrees:  C=1   D=2   E=3   F=4   G=5   A=6   B=7


Ionian / Major Mode

Ionian is just the proper name for the major scale.  The formula is already written above, so you can go back and review if you have to.


Dorian Mode

This mode starts on the 2nd degree of the major scale.

Formula =  __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __

Example in C =  D   E   F   G   A   B   C   D

*If someone says play _ dorian mode, count back 1 whole step to find the key


Phrygian Mode

This mode starts on the 3rd degree of the key you are in

Formula =  __ HS __ WS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __

Example in C:  E   F   G   A   B   C   D   E

*If someone says play _ phrigian mode, count back 2 whole steps to find the key


Lydian Mode

This mode starts on the 4th degree of the key you are in.

Formula =  __ WS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ HS __

Example in C:  F   G   A   B   C   D   E   F

*If someone says play _ lydian mode, count back 2 1/2 steps to find the key


Mixolydian Mode

This mode starts on the 5th degree of the key you are in.

Formula =  __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __

Example in C:  G   A   B   C   D   E   F   G

*If someone says play _ mixolydian mode, count back or up 3 1/2 steps to find the key 


Aeolian / Minor Mode

Aeolian is just the proper name for the natural minor scale. This mode starts on the 6th degree of the key you are in.

Formula =  __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __

Example in C:  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   A

*If someone says play _ aeolian / minor mode, count back 4 1/2 steps or up 1 1/2 steps to find the key


Locrian Mode

This mode starts on the 7th degree of the key you are in.

Formula =  __ HS __ WS __ WS __ HS __ WS __ WS __ WS __

Example in C:  B   C   D   E   F   G   A   B

*If someone says play _ locrian mode, count back 5 1/2 steps or up 1/2 step to find the key


Now go back and read through the explanations of each mode and try to connect it to the pattern for major scales. Hint: Look at the phrases with * beside them

Utilizing the modes is a great way of improvising your playing.  It will make you seem like you are playing all kinds of wierd scales, when really you are just playing different versions of the major scale.
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Rjthakid

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Re: Modes
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 05:12:57 PM »
Something I've been trying to get an answer to for a long time:

How do you know where to APPLY these scales?

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Modes
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 08:55:17 PM »
Something I've been trying to get an answer to for a long time:

How do you know where to APPLY these scales?


*to quote the movie, "New Jack City"*


I think it's, you know, an experimentation-type thang.  :D

Use your ear. I'm not sure if there's a theory behind it.  ?/? :-\
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Modes
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 10:29:52 PM »
Something I've been trying to get an answer to for a long time:

How do you know where to APPLY these scales?

One way you can apply these modes in between chords.  For instance, let's say you are on a 5 chord, and you're going back to 1.  But, in between 5 and 1 there is some space you need to fill.  You can pick any mode and just run it until you are ready to play your one chord again.  The trick is to pick a mode that once u finish it, it ends when you press down your 1 chord.  Illustration:

Key C  LH/RH

G / F-A-C (5)
?
C / G-C-E (1)

Now, which mode would fit?  You see that 1 chord, the last note is E.  Remember I said the trick is to pick a mode that once u finish it, it ends when you press down your 1 chord.  Since the last note of the 1 chord is E, that must mean that the mode we pick started with an E.  The mode that fits that is Phrygian mode.  So, let's use it:

4/4 time count in [ ]

[1] G / F-A-C (5)
[an] / E
[a] / F
[2] / G
[e] / A
[an] / B
[a] / C
[3] / D
[e] / E
[an] / F
[a] / G
[4] / A
[e] / B
[an] / C
[a] / D
[1] C / G-C-E (1)

Take it slow and work with it.  You should see that once you finish the Phrygian mode, you will land perfectly on the C major chord.  Since my midi equipment is acting up, I can't give yall an audio demonstration right now.  I'll have to fix it and get back wit yall.  That is one of many ways to apply the modes.

Another way is like sjon said, experimenting with different things.  There really is no set theory behind using the modes, at least I don't think there is.  If you feel like running a major scale, just pick a different note and start running.

As you get used to using the major scale a lot, you will instinctly use the correct mode at the correct time.  You will just start running the major scale starting on any note and magically end where u want it to end.  I don't know how else to explain it RJ.
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Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Modes
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 08:44:59 AM »
That's good teaching, TB. Quick question, how would one work the fingering?
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Offline T-Block

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Re: Modes
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 09:06:12 AM »
That's good teaching, TB. Quick question, how would one work the fingering?

You can use whatever fingering you want, but here's how I would do it:

F-A-C = 1-3-5
E = 1
F = 2
G = 3
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
E = 1
F = 2
G = 3
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
G-C-E = 1-3-5
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Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Modes
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 09:41:00 AM »
You can use whatever fingering you want, but here's how I would do it:

F-A-C = 1-3-5
E = 1
F = 2
G = 3
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
E = 1
F = 2
G = 3
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
G-C-E = 1-3-5


Thanks, Boss.
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Offline rspindy

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Re: Modes
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 11:21:21 AM »
Something I've been trying to get an answer to for a long time:

How do you know where to APPLY these scales?

One way to apply the modes to your improvisations involves how the chord functions in the piece.  The function may be natural (evolving from the chords placement in the scale of the piece) or temporary (evolving from the chords placement in a temporary key).

The first function to consider is the Dominant 7th (G7 in C or C7 in F) etc.  When using modes of the major scale, they will call for the mixolydian mode regardless of the overall key.  A dominant 7th chord that is not a natural part of the key of the piece is in essence temporarily taking us to another key.  Even in the key of C major, if you run across a D7, you will use the D mixolydian (G major scale played from D to D).  The primary feature of the Mixolydian mode is that it contains the major third of the chord and the lowered seventh.  More exotic modes that work with a Dominant 7th in different situations will contain those two notes.

The half diminishied chord (m7b5) naturally falls on the seventh degree of the Major scale or the second degree of the natural minor.  A half-diminished chord takes the locrian mode - the major scale starting on its 7th degree (B - B in C major).  It almost always acts as either a temporary VII or a temporary II (derived from minor).

The minor seventh usually takes the dorian mode (major scale starting on second degree: D - D in C major)  In most instances it is acting as a II or temporary II as in the II - V - I (which is functionally similar to VI - II - V; III - VI - II; VII - III - VI).  This is the case in most instances in contemporary popular styles and jazz.
So even an Em7 in C major, if followed by some kind of A chord is actually acting as II of D, not III of C.

Occasionally the III or the VI is actually acting in its natural function within the key (such as a progression of I - II -III - IIIb - II - V - I) in this case the III would take the phrygian mode.  Similar, the VI may require the Aeolian mode.  This is where you may need to experiment a little to get the sound that you are looking for.  But in general, you are usually safe in first trying dorian mode.

One way to think about it is that dorian is your primary mode for minor chords.  Aeolian is Dorian with a flat sixth degree, phrygian is dorian with a flat six and a flat two.

Finally we get the Major Chord.  These fall naturally on the First degree and the fourth degree.  This gets a little tricky but I find that more often than not, a Major Chord has a tendancy to act as I or temporary I and therefore uses Ionian (the Major Scale)  In a progression of I - I7 - IV, the I takes the Ionian and in most instances the IV will take the Ionian as a temporary I (made so by the I7).  In C major C - C7 - F :  The C is Ionian in C, the C7 is mixolydian, and the F is ionian in F).

When the IV chord is acting in its natural setting as IV then it will take Lydian -- which is Major with a sharp fourth degree.  This will take some experimentation.  A major seventh with #11 will always call for lydian (Cmaj7 #11) regardless of function.

When using the ionian mode, the 4th degree is considered an avoid tone which means that it should not be used in a prominant position (on a strong beat or a held note) because it represents the sus 4 and is in conflict with the 3rd.

I hope that this gives you some ideas in working with modes.

Offline musallio

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Re: Modes
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 12:42:44 PM »
U'r a "cat" on the theory man..

I thought I should add this fancy chart on your archive man:

http://randscullard.com/CircleOfFifths/
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Offline teresac

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Re: Modes
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 05:46:09 PM »
Wow, Everyone

Nice, a lot of good information here.  Thank-you.  I'll play around this information and see what I can do with it.

musallio,

Nice chart.  :)

Offline musallio

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Re: Modes
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 10:44:00 AM »
rspindy, this is really powerful info here, thanks 8)

If U get time, could U please give illustrative examples like T-Block did..

But I'll test the theory myself using the tools U guys have given us.

God Bless & may you grow wiser in your trade.
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Offline Fingers!

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Re: Modes
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 03:44:36 PM »
One way you can apply these modes in between chords.  For instance, let's say you are on a 5 chord, and you're going back to 1.  But, in between 5 and 1 there is some space you need to fill.  You can pick any mode and just run it until you are ready to play your one chord again.  The trick is to pick a mode that once u finish it, it ends when you press down your 1 chord...

So, when you do fills, is this what/how you think?  Or is this just one way?  I'm not asking how is it "suppose" to be done, I'm asking - I'm trying to get into your head.  Are you just showing how to play using modes even though you probably don't do fills like this exclusively or is this "modal approach" how you think most of the time when you do fills? 



Offline T-Block

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Re: Modes
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2008, 06:55:44 PM »
So, when you do fills, is this what/how you think?  Or is this just one way?  I'm not asking how is it "suppose" to be done, I'm asking - I'm trying to get into your head.  Are you just showing how to play using modes even though you probably don't do fills like this exclusively or is this "modal approach" how you think most of the time when you do fills?

This is just one way I would use modes.  When I'm doing fill-ins, I don't normally play runs, I mostly play chords.  But, in the off chance that I decide to do a run, I just pick a note and start running the major scale from that point.  I don't consciously think about what mode it is, I just do it and hope it turns out good, LOL.
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Offline Fingers!

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Re: Modes
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2008, 08:49:16 AM »
When I'm doing fill-ins, I don't normally play runs, I mostly play chords.  But, in the off chance that I decide to do a run, I just pick a note and start running the major scale from that point. 

Mostly play chords;
Are you referring to single-note chords or whole chords, like dropping in subs?

I just pick a note:
So, in the key of C, let's say you progressed to the G (5) and about to move to the 1.  You're going to do a run as your transition to 1.  You're going to "pick a note and start running the major scale from that point."  Are you thinking "C" major scale or "G7" scale?   

Offline T-Block

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Re: Modes
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2008, 10:33:10 AM »
Mostly play chords;
Are you referring to single-note chords or whole chords, like dropping in subs?

Whole chords, passing chords, and subs.

I just pick a note:
So, in the key of C, let's say you progressed to the G (5) and about to move to the 1.  You're going to do a run as your transition to 1.  You're going to "pick a note and start running the major scale from that point."  Are you thinking "C" major scale or "G7" scale?  

I'm thinking C major scale.  Basically, whatever note my finger hits first, I just start running from that point up until I come down on my 1 chord at the nearest inversion.  It's not a premeditated run, it's really spur of the moment.  But, since I've practiced my major scales so much, it really doesn't matter what note I start with.
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Offline Fingers!

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Re: Modes
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2008, 10:49:37 AM »
Whole chords, passing chords, and subs.

I'm thinking C major scale.  Basically, whatever note my finger hits first, I just start running from that point up until I come down on my 1 chord at the nearest inversion.  It's not a premeditated run, it's really spur of the moment.  But, since I've practiced my major scales so much, it really doesn't matter what note I start with.

Wow.  Okay.  Do most key players you're familiar with do it like that? 

What if you were playing an A minor tune.  Would you still be using/thinking the C major scale?

Offline musallio

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Re: Modes
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2008, 01:48:45 PM »
Wow.  Okay.  Do most key players you're familiar with do it like that? 

What if you were playing an A minor tune.  Would you still be using/thinking the C major scale?

I think like that..

I'd mess up completely if I tried to think ito the minor scale.

So when I play in Eb min, I think of it as a Gb major scale& just know that I have to end on the 6th mode.

that's my 1 cent.
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Offline Fingers!

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Re: Modes
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2008, 04:15:35 PM »
I think like that..

I'd mess up completely if I tried to think ito the minor scale.

So when I play in Eb min, I think of it as a Gb major scale& just know that I have to end on the 6th mode.

that's my 1 cent.

Okay.  Very interesting...    T-Block?

Offline T-Block

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Re: Modes
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2008, 04:56:28 PM »
Wow.  Okay.  Do most key players you're familiar with do it like that? 

What if you were playing an A minor tune.  Would you still be using/thinking the C major scale?

Most keys players I'm familiar do way too many runs, but the process is the same.  Whatever note your finger hits, just start running a scale and hope it turns out good.  As for the minor situation, I do the same as musallio said, I'm always thinking major, but playing minor.
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Offline Fingers!

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Re: Modes
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2008, 05:09:46 PM »
Most keys players I'm familiar do way too many runs, but the process is the same.  Whatever note your finger hits, just start running a scale and hope it turns out good.  As for the minor situation, I do the same as musallio said, I'm always thinking major, but playing minor.

Man, this is shocking to me.  This is how I've been playing the bass.  I do it this way to minimize my chance of getting lost.  Other guitar and bass players (especially the 'Modes' group) are always telling me that I'm thinking wrong, that it's improper to, like, play minor but think major.  You know, no matter what I play, I lay it down on the major scale, instead of memorizing a new one (modes).  Like, most of the minor songs, to me, is easier to play looking at the major scale pattern and starting from the 6 and play into the scale, then run out of the scale pattern back to the 6 (which is really an overlap of the same scale).  Okay....
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